Jio 5G service will rollout in India in the second half of 2021, Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani revealed during his keynote at India Mobile Congress 2020 on Tuesday. The Indian billionaire noted that the 5G service offered by Jio would be a “testimony” to the government's Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) policy. Apart from rolling out 5G in the country, Jio is in development of an affordable Android phone in collaboration with Google that is likely to debut in the coming months.
Ambani, 63, said that the policy steps were needed to accelerate early rollout of 5G in the country.
“I assure you that Jio will pioneer the 5G revolution in India in the second half of 2021. It will be powered by indigenous-developed network, hardware and technology components,” he said.
Jio has been working on 5G for some time now. The nationwide LTE-exclusive network coverage is helping the Mumbai-based telco to switch to the next-generation cellular service in a shorter time when comparing with what's required for Airtel and Vi (formerly known as Vodafone Idea).
To bring 5G to reality in India, Jio is working with companies including Samsung and Qualcomm. Ambani at the 43rd annual general meeting of Reliance Industries in July announced that Jio would start testing 5G network in the country as soon as the spectrum would be available. The telco was also teased to develop a homegrown 5G solution.
At the Qualcomm 5G Summit in October, Jio further detailed its 5G plans and announced the development of its 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) that will help test the next-generation network at scale.
In addition to its 5G plans, Jio is currently working with Google to launch its entry-level 4G Android smartphone. The new model is speculated to arrive sometime in the first quarter of next year with a price tag of around Rs. 4,000.
During his speech at the India Mobile Congress, Ambani urged the government to take policy steps for bringing affordable smartphones for the underprivileged people who are still on a 2G network.
Jio Platforms, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries that owns Jio network, attracted investments from various global companies in the past few months. The list of investors includes Google, Facebook, Intel Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, and Silver Lake Partners, among others. It raised as much as Rs. 152,056 crores by selling its 32.97 percent stake. Those investments are enabling the company to expand its digital presence in the country.
“Jio Platforms, with its family of over 20 startup partners, has built world-class capabilities in artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data, machine learning, Internet of Things, blockchain, etc,” said Ambani. “We are creating compelling home-grown solutions in education, healthcare, agriculture, infrastructure, financial services, and new commerce.”
The arrival of Jio 5G service would help boost the existing and new developments of Jio Platforms. It will also give an edge to the telco that is already the biggest in the Indian telecom sector, with a market share of over 35 percent, as per the data provided by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.